awareness

We’re All Selfish

“Genuine selflessness usually lies in the more mundane of actions. Of course giving 10 bucks to a charity is indirectly self-serving, it makes me feel better contributing to the community. However, getting up at 6 AM with the kids so that my mother might get some much needed rest, is not. That’s because I love my mother and I want to make her life a bit easier when I can.”
~Anirac Morgan

And yet…

“That’s because I love my mother and I want to make her life a bit easier when I can.”
~Anirac Morgan

I’m failing to see how it’s not self-centric.

Nothing you can do will ever revolve around someone else.

There’s a difference between being self-absorbed and being self-centered. There’s also a difference between those two things (both categorized hapharzardly by you and Vandor as ‘selfish’) and ‘true selflessness’. The latter is mistakenly believed to be different because of an incomplete awareness. See the above quotes. Self-centric, despite that you’re not focusing on the source of your actions.

We’re all selfish. Recognizing that is just a matter of self awareness.


(Posted in Happiness & Service ♠ a discussion thread at the Force Academy.)

Vulgar Displays of Power

The Nature of Power

The only time I ever seem to hear people talk of power is when they’re talking about politics. Or when someone commits genocide. Or else something of the like. I find this hilarious, personally, and I’ll tell you why. The only time they talk about this is when it is a vulgar display of power. It’s almost a profane word in the way most people use it. Me? I happen to like power, in fact I am exercising my power in writing, at this very moment. And these words have an affect; whether you think I’m full of myself and reject every proposition of mine, or you completely agree with what I say. Furthermore, how you react to that power is within your power. It’s your choice on what you take and what you filter out, it’s even your choice to continue reading or, alternatively, to ignore these words.

In the simplest terms, power is influence. It’s hardly exclusive to the politicians and the business executives. It’s comical to me that anyone would believe themselves not to have it. You don’t think your choices have affected what talents you have, what college you’re attending, or what hobbies you pursue? And what about your relationships, do you really believe you have no impact on the thinking and emotional state of people you interact with on a daily basis? You don’t think you have an effect on what your best friend thinks of you? No, you have power. The question isn’t “do I have it?”, but rather, “will I admit that I have power?”

There are what I might call different intensities though, if someone were interested in a sort of classification system. The kind most commonly cited today is, as I said, vulgar. It’s heavy, in your face, and is rarely seen in a ‘positive’ way.

The Role of Choice

Choice is the agent through which power is exercised; and we all have the power of choice, inevery aspect of our lives. Does a drug ‘addict’ have a choice in doing heroine? I would say yes, it was a choice to start, and the physical dependency is a symptom (or consequence, if you will) of that choice. Does a homeless guy have a choice between starving and stealing food? I say yes, because even if in some uncommonly principled man, the principles driving his decision would have been his choice. I could give you examples all day, or you could offer your own and I doubt it’d take long to see where it came down to individual choice.

This is what power’s all about: choice. Fate is a crock, destiny’s bullshit; if this life is a rollercoaster, I’m not just the one riding, I’m also the grunt that makes the tracks.

Ripple Effect

Consequences. When it comes right down to it, there will always be ripples, affects of the choices you make. If you just saved someone’s life, that wasn’t God, it wasn’t a miracle, it was your choice. If you just flunked an exam in your favorite college class, that’s a ripple of your choices.

Seeing power in a different light, almost to the point of trivializing it, is just a matter of accountability, to yourself above all others.

Responsibility

Yeah, that’s right, responsibility. To yourself and, by extension, to the people you care about. I’ve heard people talk about wanting to do whatever they want whenever they want all the way through high school, I’ve heard myself gripe about that to over the years. The only response I have to that these days is pretty straightforward… Everybody has the power to do as they please; the trick is to legitimately figure out what you want as an individual, what your dreams and aspirations are, to put value into saying “I want”.

And once you’ve done that, there’s no excuse. With that kind of awareness, you have responsibility to yourself to make choices and exercise your personal power, moving yourself closer to those dreams you’ve had. If you don’t, that’s your choice to… and it’s a weak one.

Concerning others, they are accountable to themselves to. As self-absorbed as I can be, I am not the only Individual in the world.

“Respect the Individual, not just yourself.”
~Khaos

Returning once more to this lecture as an example, I don’t feel I’m responsible for how you take my words. Do with ’em what you like, I couldn’t force them down your throat even if I wanted to. Power over others is just as much of an illusion as others having power over you, at least in the sense that most people seem to see it.

Vulgarity and Subtlety

Some of the examples, as broad as they’ve been, hopefully point out that those blatant displays of influence aren’t the whole picture. Power, like passion, is a defining point of all life, from one-cell organisms to humans.

Violence is blatant, and there’s power in it; legislative influence affects a lot of people, so it’s easy to see. But take a closer look, and you can see it’s a hell of a lot more than that.

It’s only a matter of awareness. Right under your nose is all the power over your life, maybe more than you would believe. It’s not something you can attain, just something to recognize. The air you breath, it’s there to, even if you don’t acknowledge it. You use it even if your ignorant of its presence.

Evolution of the Emotional Approach

Evolution of the emotional approach…

The individual begins with a perception of emotions as bad, or as harmful, or as impediments to his goals. He therefore works to suppress them, hide from them, keep them away. He seeks to be above and beyond his emotions, devoid of them. Eventually, he fails.

I’ve been there, I’ve done that.

The individual comes to realize and accept that his emotions can’t be gotten rid of, can’t be extinguished. He therefore works towards the domination of his emotions and feelings, attempting to reign over them. He seeks to cage them, and to keep them on a leash. Eventually, he fails.

I’ve been there, I’ve done that.

The individual sees that emotion will not be subservient, will not be submissive. And so he decides to embrace them, use them. He aims them toward his wants. Eventually, a relationship of mutual guidance develops. Eventually they begin to speak with him, and he to them.

I am here, I am doing this.

Not All That Special

I used to really value my chosen places of communication, places like the Order of the Sith, and – later, much later – the Force Academy. There was something special about them, something unique, a kind of interaction and mode of connection that I hadn’t found anywhere besides places like these. Both of those are easy examples to draw on to, because – more than once – I’ve defined their value to me. At their best, they’re a means of communication and transformation, they can be used to gain a better awareness of yourself, your circumstances, your feelings, and so much more. They can be a forge for your outlook, opinions, and understanding. Ideas, observations, theories, principles, etc. can all be discussed and better articulated through them. And hell, they can even be a means of entertainment. Any and all of these things are a possible uses that these virtual communities can yield. So… I used to think they were something special.

But really, they’re not all that special or unique. The only thing that made them so was that they centered around the Sith Way, and other similar teachings and ways of life that can be lumped in for their shared origin points in the Star Wars mythos. But this is really the only thing that stands out and, to be honest, I’m not sure it’s enough to value in and of itself for this particular Sith. I keep asking myself what the fuck I need them for – and the fact is, aside from connecting and working with less experienced practitioners that usually don’t know jack shit, they’re not very useful to me. And now that I’m really thinking about it, it’s easy to see that this has been nagging at me from the back of my mind for a very, very long time. Aside from the prompt to revisit this via Khaos’s newest venture – Dissonance (The Dark Aspect): A World of Gods and Monsters – the extent of my transformation carved a pathway outwards for it to rise to the surface again.

The perspective seems to have been coalescing into something more appropriate to the monster I am – as opposed to the monster I was – and waiting, patiently, as things of the dark are wont to do, for me to form into something it was more compatible with. So I return to one of the simplest expressions of it, from a holocron entry on March 29th… “while I do find the FA still catches my interest, it does not go beyond the interest of a (morbidly?) curious monster looking upon an entertaining, enjoyable little puzzle box – of shifting discussions, dynamics, ideas, and so on.” Which I suppose could be spun to mean that sure, these places still have a place with me. But they’re not any higher up in value than a blog can be – at least not based on some of the things I’ve read in other corners of the internet. There’s nothing that makes a place like the FA intrinsically better, it just depends on the individual(s) that use it, and how they use it. Whatever you happen to haunt just depends on your preference.

(May 22nd)

Abaddon

He comes bearing bitter fruits,
The Apples of Sodom(y) and Knowing.
Their pretty, ruby red hue rendered moot,
For fear of what they’d be showing.

He comes only to lay waste.
Running from him, desperate,
They flee with greatest haste.

(Written October 25th, 2012 // ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_(personification) )

A Fragment: (Im)Mortality

“We are mortal beings… you, me, and the rest of mankind. And passion, passion is that drive to become more than just human, more than a mortal. Opening your eyes to the Heart within yourself and embracing it is an important step, for an Adept of the Dark Side seeks to become more than just another person. He seeks to become a god. For that, he must find the boundaries of his mortality. Find your limits, search them out. Demolish them.”

(A fragment of something I began to write a few months ago, probably towards the end of last year.. Above is only an excerpt, but the entriety of it is pretty short and is, for all intents and purposes, on the backburner… at most. Might never get touched again, or it might be reworked, added to, etc. Note: The way passion is addressed here falls short of what it is when looked at as a poison. That might be something that’s developed and expressed with more clarity, if and when this is reworked.)